I've Always Been a Dreamer
I’ve always been a dreamer. Though I pretend to be a rational, logical human being, I hold no illusions. I know the truth. I fantasize.
When I was young, I had dreams of becoming someone big and important. I had grandiose ideas of life and success. I wanted to be a chemist, a pop star, a chef, among so many other things.
Here’s the thing.
I suck at science. The math is too complex and never fails to leave me in a state of muddled confusion. Hand me a beaker; I'll break it and send glass flying everywhere. Hand me a few chemicals; I'll mix the wrong ones together and cause an explosion.
I’m a terrible singer. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I’m tone deaf but I’m right there. Sheet music is gibberish and my sense of rhythm is nonexistent.
I can’t cook. I mean theoretically I could live on experimental food. I can make food, I just couldn’t sell it to other people because I’d poison them and then they’d die and it’d be my fault.
I found similar cases in every one of my dreams. While not all of them led to death, none of my dreams ended happily.
At some point along the way, I realized I was bad at everything. There was nothing that I was good at. My friends were—and are—good at something: at art, at makeup, at singing, at telling jokes, at playing sports.
As I got older, I grew increasingly disenchanted with life as a thing, as a concept, as something I had to deal with. I had never quite been satisfied but, at some point along the way, I found myself immensely dissatisfied.
As I grew older, I took on a different, and slightly more pessimistic, view on life. Life isn’t something that I enjoy; it’s something I’m bad at. It's something that i happen to be experiencing.
I figured that out pretty quickly and I saw no realistic way to fix it.
So I didn’t. I don’t even try. I read.
I read high fantasies about warriors causing revolutions and urban fantasies about demon hunters saving the world. I read dystopias about rebellious citizens overthrowing the system and cutesy romances about people who meet their soul mates and live happily ever after with kids and marriages and all the other stereotypical happy ending stuff.
I don’t read historical fiction. I don’t want to read about things that once could have happened a place that isn't even real anymore. I can’t read nonfiction, even if I want to. I don’t care about real life, or the esteemed lives of others, especially not in written form.
Some may call it apathy. Some may say I’m self-absorbed or ignorant. I’d agree.
I’ve always been a dreamer. I’ve never been satisfied with real life, with what I have. I’ve always looked ten steps, twenty steps, thirty steps ahead.
But I can’t do that here. Not anymore. I won’t find anything thirty steps ahead.
But I can do it on paper.
On paper, I’m strong enough to overthrow a tyrant and I’m brave enough to spill my heart out to someone. I’m attractive enough to fall in love with. I’m in a famous rock band or running a renowned bakery. I’m the type of girl that’s funny and smart. I’m the type of girl who’s naive enough to believe that everything will be okay in the end.
I live in different worlds, ones that I never could have imagined on my own. I become another person. I deal with that person’s heartaches and that person’s tragedies and I don’t have to think about mine.
I’ve never liked the life that I got stuck with.
That’s why I read, why you’ll see me walking down the hall and tripping over my feet with my nose buried in a book.
Because when I read, I can stop being me.
Even if it’s just for a moment.